Sean O’Malley and Conor McGregor have big plans for UFC 296

Sean O'Malley spoke with Conor McGregor and they agreed to fight on the same UFC card.

By: Nate Wilcox | 1 month ago
Sean O’Malley and Conor McGregor have big plans for UFC 296

Sean O’Malley riding high after UFC 292 win

Sean O’Malley is riding high after claiming the UFC bantamweight title at UFC 292 with a quick TKO win over Aljamain Sterling on Saturday, August 19, 2023. Now he’s brewing even bigger plans with an even bigger name.

After the win he told Michael Eaves and Jon Anik on the UFC 292 post-fight show “I don’t know which one’s reality and which one’s a dream right now. This feels like a dream. I feel like I’m in a movie.

‘Conor messaged me on Instagram for the first time yesterday’

Sean O’Malley continued his talking tour with a phone in to the Pat McAfee Show and revealed that he’s in direct contact with Conor McGregor for the first time.

Here’s how Sugar recounted the direct messages they exchanged on Instagram:

Conor McGregor: “Baby we did it.”

Sean O’Malley: “We sure f*cking did. Are you main event December and I’m co-main eventing?”

Conor McGregor: “Shot Caller!”

O’Malley rubbed his thumb and fingers togther to indicate that such a combination would result in a big payday for him.

There’s no doubt it would as Conor McGregor, even in his current sadly diminished state, remains by far the biggest star in the UFC and as the newly crowned champion O’Malley would likely stand to receive a percentage of the pay-per-view revenue.

Unfortunately the dream might not work out

Unfortunately for O’Malley (and McGregor’s likely opponent Michael Chandler) McGregor appears unlikely to fight in December. Per a tweeted and deleted audio file McGregor posted this weekend:

“They’re not gonna let me fight in December, ladies and gentlemen,” Conor McGregor admitted. “Did you see Chris Weidman? Imagine what that injury was. I feel like I’ve been kept from my livelihood. And I’ve been feeling this for years. On-off, on-off, and all of a sudden these things pop up and it’s like, ‘Wha!?’ I’m not gonna air grievances… I’m ready, yeah? I’m ready. I wanted the announcement, December 16th. I’ve given everything. It’s not gonna happen, it doesn’t look like it’s gonna happen.

Is Conor’s failure to reenter USADA pool the hang up?

McGregor failed to reenter the USADA (The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency) testing pool in time to compete in December. We’ve covered the ins and outs of USADA re-entry and McGregor before but the TL;DR is basically that McGregor hasn’t been tested since 2021 and needs to be available for testing for roughly six months before returning to competition.

As we explained before: “There is of course a clause where UFC can bypass this rule, supposedly only under “exceptional circumstances, when the strict application of the rule would be manifestly unfair to the athlete.” It would be UFC’s call, but in USADA’s opinion, Conor doesn’t qualify for it.

“Our position, which we have made clear, is that Conor should be in the testing pool for the full six-month period,” USADA previously said about McGregor, which sparked some angry tweet-and-deletes from the Irish superstar in response.

Dana White and McGregor both said it would be worked out

UFC and Power Slap CEO Dana White and McGregor have both made claims at various times that the problems had all been sorted out.

Two months ago White told Aaron Bronsteter, “100 percent (there’s a chance Conor McGregor fights this year). He’s not (back in the USADA testing pool).

“We’ll see how that plays out. (USADA) is saying that now, but who knows? I don’t talk about s―t until s—t happens. To sit here and think hypothetically how a million different things could happen, no idea,” White said. “The Conor thing, who the hell knows how that’s going to play out? Who cares what USADA says?”

For his part Conor told The Mirror, “That’s, ehhh, that’s done, man,” McGergor responded when asked if rumors that he’d re-enter USADA testing on June 1st were true. “That’s done. By year end, I’m back in that cage, having competed. I’m clear, I’m there, I’m ready to go.”

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About the author
Nate Wilcox
Nate Wilcox

Nate Wilcox is the founding editor of As such he has hired every editor and writer to work for the site. Wilcox’s writing for BE is known for its emphasis on MMA history, the evolution of fighting techniques and strong opinions. Wilcox developed the SBN MMA consensus rankings which were featured in USA Today from 2009 to 2011. Before founding BE, Wilcox was a political operative working for such figures as Senators John Kerry and Mark Warner and an early political blogger. He is the co-author of Netroots Rising, a history of the political blogosphere from 2003 to 2007. Wilcox also hosts the Let It Roll podcast on music history for the Pantheon Podcast Network.

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